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About Google Book Search Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web at |http : //books . google . com/| ^ ~J MMI I > « u t ■ I f THB HOUSE OF DREAMS. 'IZ,- »74- Tti "y . 1 1 Copyright, 1899, by WilUam Griffith. v/7 3 <^ DEDICATION. \_ m \ AS the earth to its Maker 2 /A Gives back His own making, • 1^ The rose to its taker Resigns its own taking; As the scroll to its reader Reveals his own knowing, The field to its seeder Returns his own sowing; As the mine undiscovered Holds gems only known to it, The mirror uncovered Reflects what is shown to it; As the music its sweetness To. its seeker gives pleasure, Or as Song by its fleetness Concealing its treasure. To the loves of all loving The love of the Nine is As the most of my having To its havers here mine is. DEDICATION. If the breath of all breathing Be the life of all living — And if Love thus bequeathing Can get aught for its giving, dear, mystical Mother! To the Sun, nested, swinging, 1 bear nothing other Than songs of thy singing. VI CONTENTS. Dedication v The House of Dreams 3 SONGS OP THE WORLD. A Litany of the Nations 17 The Blind Organ-Grinder 24 ITINERARY. Wayfarers 88 Tramping 88 The Wanderer 44 The Vagabond 62 finest 56 Reqniescat 67 LYRICS. Dream of the Hills 61 The Evening Primrose 64 The Daffodil 66 Vll CONTENTS. SONGS OP HOPB. 71 72 73 74 75 76 I II v.- in IV V VI -- SEA SONGS. Ill 79 80 81 CAPRICBS. Oberon and Titania (Masque) 85 T he Sisters 100 An Umbel for Spring 102 Inscription 105 viu THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. f^^mmm^mm'^^'mf^mm A THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. To Charles G. D. Roberts. N azure dome of trailing galaxies Way over hills and plains and seas, Here in a world of dreams The old house seems So much like home at times, though never grown Familiar really. Alone On my monotonous way From day to day I wander through the rooms, across the floors Of multitudinous corridors Adorned with tapestries No mortal eyes 3 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. On earth may ever fathom awelessly; So marvelous they are to see, With sceneries, designed Ages behind With overshadowing, terrestrial Precipices where rivers fall Obediently below, Or great winds blow Dark argosies of clouds above the deep Blue seas as muttering thunders leap Roaring ere the cowed main Subsides again. Ephemeral beings also seem to move Or pause as if some Spirit wove Them in a vision. So Few seem to know 4 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Or realize there are more purposes Of excellence than to possess Materially the dross Of gain and loss. Withal, an audience of cheering hope Engrossed among themselves, they grope In search of hidden lore Fore ver more; While some, with shuddering, despairing ways Of hopelessness, about them gaze Bewildered, speechless. There Is such an air Of mystery surrounding everything; So many voices whispering Of meanings weird and strange Beyond the range THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Or reach of human utterance. There are Dear forms and faces waiting far Away, but not above The will of love. Alluring as the miracle appears On musing, more than twenty years Companioning as thralls; At intervals Emerging from my doorway, in the sun Of many a drowsy afternoon Or morning soft and warm With Spring, they swarm In multitudes along the thoroughfares, Oblivious that each phantom wears His cowl as though afraid The masquerade 6 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Were ineffectual or otherwise Bewildering discerning eyes With revelations more Revered of yore. Day after day while men and women pass Me clustering together as If fearful to intrude On solitude Asunder (mortals really appear So comfortable on more near Acquaintance) I believe They never grieve Or have real sorrows of the soul. A few, More knowing, seem as if they knew Them foolish who complain That all is vain: ■i THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. While, strange to say, not one of them but strives Indomitably a while, and thrives Or wanders from the quest, As may be best Of all when all is over — everyone, Of course, whether with duty done Or with remorseful end. Will comprehend. Sometimes with the unanimous appeal Of faces showing me the real Truth of themselves, I walk With them and talk On business or comfortable things Of human interest. It wrings My wondering soul to learn How much they yearn 8 .«' \^\' . • ' - r; .T THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. With wistful eyes for something on obscure Horizons over hills that lure All mortals on with views Illuminous With Paradisal mirages away Beyond my caravanserai Immuring everyone Under the sun Beneath impenetrable mazes. Most Of all I marvel where my Host, As Ghibelline or Guelf, May house Himself Among us on the premises — always Evading my inquiring gaze Effectually and dense As reticence 9 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. • Regarding whomsoever may profess To know immortal messages, Bearing the signature Of Heaven, lure The simple and the curious. It seems There are innumerable themes Becoming obvious Enough to us Who raise the awful tapestries. We cower Amazed and terrified when our Own mortal Visage looms Up in the rooms Yonder disclosing the ineffable, Self-same, illuminating, well Known features with the wise, Sad human eyes 10 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. * On fire with smouldering meanings full of wild Desires commingling with the mild, Harmless reproaches of Enduring love. Albeit maddening demons haunt the place So ominously, not a trace Does wall or door reveal Of all that steal In, time to time, with voices summoning Belated hosts whose harrowing Reverberations roll Around my soul. Mumbling and daft and crazing as the moan Or plangent sobbing of some lone. Unfathomable sea Alluring me 11 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Away from all my fellows — day and night Urging and mastering despite The most unyielding lust • Bom of the dust. Whenever death may choose to terminate Our joyous intercourse and wait On mortals evermore Beyond my door, Just during some calm evening may the voice Of Nature, bidding all rejoice In wilding beauty, be The call for me On the eternal hills with stars and breeze In fellowship, becoming these Same forms as they have been Or known or seen 12 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. The vast infinitude wherein must be Once more a hazy memofy Of glimmering chambers trod Alone with God. 13 SONGS OF THE WORI^D. . i ww^^^^^^^m^^H^WK^l^^i^^mm^m^mt^i^^mmtfm iuhmu ■«■ ' '" '^ A LITANY OF THE NATIONS. The nations shall rusk like ike rusking of many waters .... and skall be chased before tke Tvind. Isaiah XVII. 18. GREECE. A THOUSAND aeons wandered down the seas, And at one great, immortal voice,* the sweet Tranquility of marching silences Was broken at my feet. Motker of Nations y as of yore Renumber us and^ near us Beseeching Tkee for evermore y Heary O kear us! *Homer. 17 THE HOUSE OP DREAMS. ITALY. A Janus form and still a spheral bride With steadfast eyes set toward Rome's glories gone, Afar I clomb and wept and hailed my wide, Reincarnated dawn. Mother of Nations y as of yore Remember tis andy near us Beseeching Thee for evermore ^ Hear^ O hear us! FRANCE. Vine-clad, imperial, majestic — save Gay mediaeval heroes of romance, Orion wheeleth over whom more brave. More beautiful than France! Mother of Nations y as of yore Remember us and, near us Beseeching Thee for evermore^ Hear, O hear us! 18 SONGS OF THE WORLD. SPAIN. A world between my hands, down south the Line Rode galleons abroad, and from the prize I laid Golconda at her golden shrine And worshiped Avarice. Mother of Nations ^ as of yore Remember us and^ near us Beseeching Thee for evermore. Hear, O hear us! SWITZERLAND. From mountains crowned with freedom, I repeat The skies' great secret. Time's eternal quest, Above the nations thundering at my feet — And overlook the West. Mother of Nations , as of yore Remember us and, near us Beseeching Thee for evermore. Hear, O hear us! 19 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. GERMANY. Antiphonal and broadcast, as of yore, Adown Saharan wastes, from shoreless seas Of wildest, rippling dulcitude, I pour Earth-flooding harmonies. Mother of Nations^ as of yore Remember us andy near us Beseeching Thee for evermore, Hear, O hear us! RUSSIA. All Winters come and all the Summers go. And all the starry watchmen sally forth Above yon thousand hills where waiteth — lo! The Warden of the North. Mother of Nations y as of yore Remember us and, near us Beseeching Thee for evermore , Heary O hear us! 20 SONGS OF THE WORLD. GREAT BRITAIN. Far-flung and overstrown, by British sails, With border-fringing colonies — unfurled And spread from my broad shoulders — downward trails The raiment of the world. Mother of Nations y as of yore Remember us and, near us Beseeching Thee for evermore y Heary O hear usf AMERICA. Westward, O westward still all empire goes! And westward where the cosmic balance lies High on my palm, the splendid Future glows Forever in my eyes. Mother of Nations y as of yore Remember us andy near us Beseeching Thee for evermore y Heary O hear us/ 21 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. JAPAN. Amid the warring peoples I, that slept And dreamed of wide dominion — confident, Ambitious, urging and sublime — have stept Out from the Orient. Mother of Nations, as of yore Remember us and, near us Beseeching Thee for evermore, Hear^ O hear us! CHINA. August, majestic, hapless, overrun By crowding multitudes, and still elate With Time behind, above me moves the Sun, Oblivion and Fate. Mother of Nations, as of yore Remember us and, near us Beseeching Thee forevermore, Hear, O hear usf 22 ' ' »» w « > >w « ■ -jwi 91 V I pi J qp mm ■"-iiP'vav^'-iV^p^^^WaviP'^PVHMi^iVI^HPPi'WPV'miaiMiimiViq SONGS OF THE WORI.D. TURKEY. Over the Orient a trumpet peals From Heaven, reverberating on the sweet, Cold, shuddering starlight as a nation kneels For mercy at Thy feet. Mother of Nations ^ as of yore Remember us and^ near us Beseeching Thee for evermore, Hear, still hear us! 23 ' I ' ■ •.^T'-.'^. I -• THE BUND ORGAN-GRINDER. A Ballad, A thousand ways the millions toiled — And still throughout the land, elate With whetted fangs, the factions coiled Around a pallid State. The Winters came; the Summers went ; The wan stars fled before the sun; The bow of darkness still was bent; The nations thundered on; And Spring, in happy, sweet amaze, Still as of yore, her cheeks impearled, Spread like a carpet for the days, The beauty of the world: 24 PHP SONGS OF THE WORI.D. While night by night, now dim descried In galaxies — a starried zone, The smouldering cities, far and wide, lyike constellations shone. Wherein begrimed from year to year. With warring souls amid the slime. Men herded through the stre^ets to hear The heaving anvils chime. Lawyers and workmen — ^slaves of Fate, With beggars, harlots, wives — a proud. Majestic, surging, squalid, great And many-featured crowd. For this was even such a time. With men unholy, women bold. As once in that far eastern clime. The prophet had foretold: 25 THE HOUSE OP DREAMS. When rich and poor alike, grown lewd, With brazen scorn upheld above All else, all vice — defiling good As mockers of sweet love. And on the masses surged and swayed Adown the night with pulsing feet, Where some forgotten beggar played An organ of the street Close to the curb, unnoticed save By one companion at his side; His little daughter, poor and brave: "A penny, please !" — ^she cried. **A penny, please!'* — ^The crowd moved on Heedless of that weak, piteous cry; They had no time for such, and none Had ears for charity. 26 SONGS OF THE WORI^D. The day at last swept through the dawn; The twilight lilies, one by one, Faded around the stars — the lone Outriders of the sun, While morn set in; the beggar still Turned out his doleful organ tune; Hungry and blind he toiled until The slow sun stood at noon. When lo! within his ear a faint, Approaching, dulcet harmony Began with allegrettos quaint As of some melody Lost in a wilderness of far, Melodious oboes keen and strong, Wherein one lone, belated star Had broken into song. 27 THE HOUSE OP DREAMS. The day wore on; the twilight lowered; Again night came, and still in sweet Orchestral strains the music poured Its marvel through the street. Starvation stared athwart the gloom : The beggar, stranger to a meal, Hastened to meet his awful doom With one last wild appeal — • • • • "O Father, Father God, here take Here take me! Daughter, come,** — ^he said. Dread silence reigned. Starved, starved! Christ's sake! The little girl was dead. Straightway from Heaven a cloud was lowered Above that strange, majestic throng; From aching flutes archangels poured Sweet music full and strong. 28 SONGS OF THE WORI.D. Someone approached the sleeping pair: All Heaven drew nigh — a galaxy Of radiant eyes with faces there Beneficent to see. "Come," said the Stranger, "now arise; The seraphim await you here!" Then fell, he knew not, from Those eyes, A diamond or a tear. lyO, straight at Heaven's gate they stood! God led them in; the angels sang; Like sweet bells chiming through the blood, The echoes softly rang. Whence looking out far down below The systems whirled, while far away, A crimson, driving flake of snow, The earth stood back to day. 29 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. And Winters come while Summers go; The wan stars flee before the sun; The Night yet bends her darkened bow; The nations thunder on; While still in happy, sweet amaze, The Spring, her rosy cheeks impearled, Spreads like a carpet for the days, The beauty of the world. 80 ITINERARY. . * « 1 - » - A WAYFARERS. COMPANY we are of queer, Masked wanderers who here Carouse In our wide house; Arriving ever since the prime With multitudes who climb Its stair — Say, ah, say where! Whether as guests or captives who Do angels but pursue ; Of heaven At birth bereaven. 33 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. All who are fleeing from the grace Of yonder pitying Face You shun, What have you done? As buds afar, ere blossoming, As flowers, ere reaching Spring, May know Some prescient woe, Awaiting final ministries We revelers, ill at ease, Attend The gradual end. A wanderer beneath the sun Himself remembers one Who viewed The multitude. 34 ITINERARY. Albeit he was hopelessly Misjudged and never free From strife, He lived his life. So far from Paradise removed, On earth his spirit roved The well Scorched paths of hell, Unnoted even while, endued With penitence, he sued Those wise, Averted eyes. Alas ! how far away his call For mercy, knowing all Would be A mystery 86 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Of holier divining, yet Unable to forget The fears Of many years; Believing never mortal spirit Intended to inherit A lone Oblivion. Oblivion— -unwilling Will Outbreathing from the still, Vague stress Of consciousness. Whereover at One postern light When, roving that long night Abroad, Far on the road — 36 ITINERARY. Some calm, lone, summer morning we World-wanderers may be Returned one company Of yore, At Home once more. 37 o TRAMPING. Children of Nature waitings all Expectant of Her certain call For J4S, Tve loiter at the heart Of Summer — ready to depart. VBR the hills from the justle and press Of the aching and hollow weariness. With the heart of a child once more, and free As the joyous voice of the sun to the sea, Leaving the world behind, with its cares Thronging the busy thoroughfares 38 ITINERARY. All day long where disguises harass A soul, we wave and whistle and pass Over the bridges, out through the broad Gates of the Summer and down the road. Merry as gypsies following one Hope in the distance beckoning on Illusively as a soul endued With the calm, mysterious solitude More glorious because of a word Of wonder filling the song of a bird. We are away with the daffodils On the myriad trail of a thousand hills. Climbing many a sloping lawn Skyward over the valleys, on 39 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. The summits lingering to gaze Over the billowy leagues of maize Waving miles away and far As the calling waters are Bidding us explore the rude, Joyous freedom of the wood. A warbling chorus overhead Of rapturous voices, and a bed Down in the valley where a flush Of glory mantles the underbrush Of dewy leaves. O leaves and dew, We are but wanderers with you Dear sharers of ephemeral Mortality that, during all 40 ITINERARY. The trampling marches of the rain, AwakenS) wanes and sleeps again ! A glimpse of sorrow while we press On exploring the wilderness Of regions never known to tire Out the wandering desire; Garrulous as idle leaves Gossiping on Summer eves Over the forest, over the lone Avenues in a monotone. Miles on miles of forests ere Wearying voices of the air Summon us as comrades bent On sharing the same commodious tent 41 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Of darkness starrily pitched at night By the wandering waters of delight. Heaven glimmering in between The rustling foliage of green Above us chiming merry tales Around the camp-fires in the vales. All night dreaming of the shrill Whistles of the whip-poor-will In the wilderness, as they Of the comrade spirit may Only who must breast the chance Blows of passing circumstance. Able from our souls to lend The word of courage to a friend 42 ITINERARY. Or a brother who must face Being with the commonplace; Over hills and woods and streams, Whistling down the road of dreams Evermore, we journey as Comrades going home who pass Waving fellows of the sod In the company of God. 43 THE WANDERER. I loaf and invite my Saul . . . Haw curious! Haw real! Underfoot the divine soil — Overhead the sun!— Waix Whitman. A COMFORTABLE fellow, poor As he appears Withal, and I have known him more Than twenty years To seem so reticently wise With mortals, save For such interrogating eyes. Rivals the grave. 44 ITINERARY. And evermore awaiting news, Day in and out Across the busy avenues, Wanders about Soliciting a word or two, Or just the hand Of some old crony passing — you May understand That heavy touch of loneliness Acknowledged when Amid the shouting and the press Of many men. They say an oddity and yet. With fewer dimes Than pockets even, I have met Him oftentimes 46 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Recklessly squandering every cent That he was worth, On some slack-coated mendicant Of Mother earth, Repenting leisurely. I ween Another ell For his own covering had been Acceptable. And while oblivious of that Inquiring gaze Occasioning such glances at His funny ways, Reveres existence, thinking less Of ways and woes Than yonder millionaires who bless Mammon, and goes ' 46 ITINERARY. On bankrupting description so Completely through The spacious thoroughfares as though He never knew, On all the earth, apparently, Another home Commodious as having free Expanse to roam. An alien and waif who seems So far away From all the customary themes Of every day; Appearing usually above Familiar Surroundings as acquaintance of Another star 47 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. I dare believe, or intimate With more than one Of yonder pensioners that wait Upon the sun All Summer in the retinue Of frontier flowers That vanish only to pursue The racing hours. Outlandish, upper story? Well, Of all the muss And trumpery men ever tell Of, curious Old fashions from the cloisters brought Beneath his hat And cupboarded forever — not A word of that 48 ITINERARY. To any one, or I shall be Constrained to share Reproving consequences — see That shadow there Beyond my table, moving out Across the floor At intervals. Someone about The corridor Eavesdropping probably; these rooms Hear everything Above the slightest whisper — comes Of gossiping Of course, and so as quietly As possible Another moment! On a spree, The neighbors tell 49 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Each other, preferably he roves Across the blue Ranges of Autumn often — loves The people too And idolizes children as A wanderer Kinsman fallowing with the grass, Can well aver; Albeit not another knows Him really Beyond appearances, so close And quiet he Arranges matters that some day, When April fills The world with glory, he will stray Over the hills 50 ITINERARY, Far down across the Summer, hand In hand alone, Once more, with Nature's children and [ Just be as one Incorporeal with the dews Of sties and breeze, Wayfaring on the avenues Of dreams and peace. 61 THE VAGABOND. A 1,1, day at ease, from street to street I stroll about the town; Sometimes with scarce enough to eat, While sometimes, up and down Upon my face, the passers trace A dislocated frown: For one thus roving through the land With Hunger playing wife, Begins right ofiF to understand. While dancing to the fife, The comedy, the greatness and The littleness of life. 62 ITINERARY, My clothes may claim to be akin To cousin-german shreds, For often chalkily the skin Peers through the latticed threads; But when a man begins to plan And hum and haw, he weds An inconvenient, shrewish Fat Tell them for me — and Pride, In masquerade, is but a late Collector who must ride Unrecompensed from gate to gate Where gentlemen reside. Once long ago it was my luck Or fortune, as you leave, By stumbling over I^ove to pluck Some devil by the sleeve; Whence through a dame my purse became The double of a sieve. 53 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Wherefore I took me to the last Resort of poverty; Compelled to break a gnawing fast Or starve, one night when she, My love, lay sick — I choked the past, With Hell drawn nigh to see A man defying God. I stole; To save a wife — to save The only one in all this whole Creation who forgave The little sin of Nature in A conscientious slave. But well I know a storm is more Than many think they raise; That there is many another poor. Forgotten devil pays Some ferry-fare to carry o'er The marks of other days. 54 ITINERARY. So, while the moments slip and slide From Winter into Spring, With hedges flushing either side The country lanes, I bring Across the mart a foolish heart To hear the finches sing Of gypsy joys beyond the town; Where daisies climb the scars All Summer from the shouts that drown The birds — ^their happy bars; The while I wave and pass far down Beneath the silent stars. 55 QUEST. AMONG the daisies of the lanes. Oblivious of all merciless Desires, a rover on the plains Of Beanty sought for happiness A little hour or so — and tears Fell on the branches of the tree Where he had plucked the petaled years, As fewer grew the days to be. ' The shrill and aching tears became * j As quenching dew beneath the sun; ' And happiness was but the same Old hope that better would be done. 56 » •. • •» REQUIESCAT. Comrades^ A FOREST of weary days We explore — but O why gaze Or point where a vanished face Passed over the sundown rills, When the blue-bird voices sing That all chance remembering Must be as a migrant Spring — And a hunter gone from the hills? 67 i r LYRICS. DREAM OF THE HII.I,S. A DREAMER worn with many dreams Of weariness, borne in to me Unsummoned, subtler than the themes Impassioning the sea Melodiously, some lyric note Or something whispered by the breeze, Drives my heart welling to my throat With old-time memories Of harvest-homes and fair demesnes With all the meadow-farms, and O Across the hills, familiar scenes And faces long ago! 61 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. I/), lo — a waft of magic wands! The city fades away; bedight With miles of shade, the orchard lands Sweep slowly into sight: As far off past the little town And highways flushed with happy rainS) My aimless footsteps idle down The quiet Summer lanes. I see the woods; I hear the quail's Wild whistles where the placid rills Plow down forever by the dales And cattle on the hills. A sloping ridge; with shaded eyes Above the waving fields of hay Below me, only sunny skies And reapers far away. 02 LYRICS. And faint winds whisper here and there, And something passes in the breeze Beyond all thoughts, and thrills the air With dewy memories Of old-time haunts and fair demesnes With thriving meadow-farms, and O Across the hills, familiar scenes And faces long ago! 63 THE EVENING PRIMROSE. THE earliest lark had climbed to meet The sun, and though the Forest swept Her rustling skirts o'er vanished feet, The light prints told where Morning stept; While sifted through the bashful gloom, The soft daylight fell pink and fair; The world was all one rosy bloom With mantling blushes in the air. For O a beauteous sisterhood Of blossoms there together grew — And there a little primrose stood As Nature drew her curtains to! 64 LYRICS. She dreamed her dreams, and never gazed Beyond her little curtain fold, Before the Twilight came and raised For me a little face of gold. Although it was a little face And but a primrose Time had. sown, None other saw her shyly raise The beauty that was mine alone. And somewhere, if I only see In passing, dropped from hour to hour Down through the years, Love has for me A little flower, a little flower. 65 THE DAFFODIL. A TRAMP of hoofs, one steady beat Of heavy wagons through the street All day — and still, Here in the dnst a little sweet Spring daffodil Lies trampled under, roughly tom; No more so gladly to adorn Or O to raise, With sister blossoms to the mom. An eager face! The woodland waters shall relate Thy tender graciousness, and wait Amid the fern, Oblivious, laughingly, of Fate, Some rare return : 66 LYRICS. While unremembered here and blown Along the way; neglected, grown So sorely flushed And withered now, thou art alone, Forgotten, crushed. The dew just lingers as a dear Remembrance where some angel tear Was suffered start. Did someone injure Nature here And break her heart? 67 SONGS OF HOPE. r I. WAYFARING onward ever From dream to dream, we stray Into the morrow country, Out of the yesterday Of all remembrance, leaving The frontiers of distress Behind where some divinely Beckoning happiness, Over the dawning moment Of darkness, shall fulfill The great dream of the daring, Indomitable Will. 71 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. II. LORD of the sun's blue-domed pavilion ; Now in the heart of the whole world over, Grant, O grant for a toiling million. The wistful wish of a jocund rover! Grant Thou and give unto whom belongs, When the dream of a perfect day departs, An urging joy for a thousand songs — With the song of Hope for a thousand hearts. 72 s- SONGS OF HOPE. III. THE world has slowly beckoned ; The time — the time has come ; Once more we say farewell In the little Western home. Once more the old hills vanish; The faces all retire Once more, and Hope seems only The urgence of desire. 78 THE HOUSE OP DREAMS. IV. HOPE, in Its dominance, may part Or raise the heavy lids of day; Ivove, under sentence of delay, Brings sickness to the heart. And somewhere filled with ecstasy, While your hand touches mine, a chant Rises melodious, resonant — O like a caUing sea! 74 SONGS OF HOPE. V. ALONE have you come, and to me You have brought through the silent night One Hope for the dream and a bright Sun-touch for its memory: You have brought like a Spring — ^the dew; And the Gatherer of the hours, Prom the fairest dreams of the flowers, Will gather thoughts of you. 75 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. VI. THE woods shall mourn, and Autumn, wan With maladies, shall go; The roses may forget their own Glad-heartedness, but O You came with Hope, and while to-day At eventide we stand, This pledge, your loveliest and last. Rests warmly in my hand ! 76 SEA SONGS. I. LOVE, look less wistfully out thro* the night ! Still as the whirling gold galaxies flee, Quelled with remembrance and wild with delight, Beats the strong heart of the sea. Yea, as the fierce wind arises and fills Pull of drenched foam, share a shelter with me Still while in darkness now calling the hills, Rings the great cry of the sea ! 79 • ( THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. II. ONE hour the year's great secret dwells. At Autumn's crimson close, Upon her murmurous lips and quells The passion of the rose. While in Thy veins of purest snow A sun-white fervency Runs riotous as from some slow Insistence of the sea. 80 -* * -J«' r'T M*. .-..,^,^-^ . . .-^,,^,. .-,^^. r _i/'-,T'*«r' SEA SONGS. HI. In Memoriam, BENEATH the stars one ocean sleeps In dreamless solitude, and one Croons as the Dawn from bright arms leaps Where nestled she against the sun. No longer comes an angel voice, An angel voice no longer goes, Nor bids the crimson woods rejoice, Nor wakes the wonder of the rose. 81 T "■ m '!■ CAPRICES. ^ OBERON AND TITANIA. (Masgue) Robin GooDFai,i-ow. SiSBNUS. Fancy. SUNBBAM. moonught. Raindsop. Jack Frost. Zbphtk. Elves, Fairies, and Pixies. ScBNB. — Midnight in Arden Forest. The King and Queen of the Fairies discovered before an open space on canopied thrones of leaves and flowers, A bordering rivulet wandering out beneath the trees as over running laughter. The forest bathed in moonlight. Robin GoodfeUow approaches as — ^'■•-•' ■•- ' "K- ' i^mm^'^-s^figg^t^^^grr^^nc^gfmmrmgmmm THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Prologub. Now raise conjectural fancies of a time When Nature, worn with dark and feverous hours, Resumes her quiet restfulness. All air Is hushed save where the far-off chanticleer ShriUy assails, across the meadow-farms, Some neighboring countryside. The oaks do muse; The drowsy alders sway — ^while trooping forth With Oberon and Queen Titania O'erskipping intervening oceans from The Thul6 caves, these elfin companies Adorn our moving pantomime as shapes And shadows of a maiden's fantasies. Antique, capricious, humorous and droll Embodied meanings, not unnatural Around the forest, gather into view; While slowly onward, as the spirits pass, Oblivion's smile attends a weary world Adown wide corridors of dreams and peace. . E/ves and Fairies appear dur- ing the prologiie and^ after a few measures^ disperse dimly among the trees. 86 V"«pe^ CAPRICES. Oberon. Aha! My leal, incony travelers, Come hither! Ali,. Alder-liefest Oberon! Obbron. As midnight creeps away, while' darkness veils The towering shoulders of the universe, Once more from viewless habitations far Away, while weaving dreams of happiness On soft, inviting pillows of repose In Greece and India, my starry host Of sympathizing little ones that soothe Misfortunes weeping over loneliness, All welcome once more to the bosky slopes Of Arden! TiTANIA. O Arden, where all the elves Of Klfland dwelt in happy days of yore, Bre the sweet Swan of Avon sailed away On shoreless seas of glory! 87 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. SiRENUS. Ever since Then, Summer wanders sadly down the world As mourning over beautiful romance That is no more. The nights are empty now Of all midsummer dreams, and hunters on The elfin hills of Fancy far between. Fancy. Ah me, ah me! Since then! Obkron. Since then, truly The hurrah of the world bewilders those Who shuffle oflF the burr of gravity In Periodical forgetfulness Nathless, my tricksy revelers of night, All now take hands and merrily each sprite, Relating quaint adventures, toss a purse Of Fairy money to the universe Down yonder slumbering: the death of Mirth And burial of Joy was Sorrow's birth. 88 CAPRICES. All take hands y dancing mazy measures in the moonlight ^ and merrily troll the lullaby. High and low, rocking slow In their cradles airily, Rook and wren slumber when Over Arden warily We do wander down the night, To the left and to the right Wheeling O as we go Tripping onward fairily While Time fiddles merrily. Robin Goodfki^i^ow. Canes and crutches! PfF! A reeling measure For one so heavy. Tavern ingles! So. Oberon. A finger-length of immortality. Come hither, Fancy — now while yonder owl Grows hoarse declaiming in the wilderness At intervals, assail thy memory 89 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Or tame the whistling coursers of the air For swift conveyance to thy provinces. Whither away, most beauteous spirit? Fancy. Mounting always on some sky Voyage of discovery, As a falcon soars, to rule Quarries of the beautiful; Now on earth, then far away Through the flaming gates of day Into Paradise I dare Venture sailing over bare, Wind-walled turrets of the air ^ Everywhere, everywhere. TiTANIA. Prithee, remember Lucifer! Obbron. And know Thy utmost power, for they fall indeed Who dwell among the stars. Aha, Sunbeam! 90 CAPRICES. Sunbeam. On some Oriental course Drifting down the universe, As a priest in summer bowers Gayly marrying the flowers, Or awakening with mirth Blossoms dreaming in the earth; While dissolving to explore. Warmly, every apple-core. Marshaling the clouds I soar Evermore, evermore. Obkron. A most warm-hearted fellow, so. Robin Goodfei,i.ow. A cross Between red-haired Apollo and his wise Old universal smile when Bacchus made Oblivion out of wine. Diana jumped 91 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. i Across the Zodiac and fled before ! The reeling stars down Watling Street. TiTANIA. No more, Robin, no more! Wee minion of the moon, Come this way! Whither hast thou wandered all Night long amid the starry wilderness? M00NI.IGHT. Melancholy, sweet and lone As a vision, I have strown Silvery lilies on the grass Where all happy lovers pass Quickening the stars above All the earth with kisses of Passion and the queen of love. Ob^ron. Examine iiito this most carefully, Robin. Omit no detail, for the times Are dislocated certainly. 92 CAPRICES. Robin Goodfbi.i*ow. Ho, ho! No Mantuan swain need bawl for clemency To-morrow. Obbron. Well said. Hither, reveler! Raindrop. Ever> evening as each Of the little children reach Sleepytown almost, the fleet, Rainy patterings of feet. In the summer-time aloof Over attics, furnish proof Of the Fairies on the roof. Robin Goodfei*i*ow. Aha-ha! Rogues and rascals multiply As famously as mortals quarreling With Fortune. 98 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. TiTANIA. All which shamefully deceives The melancholy Bishop on the verge Of hospitality when summer showers Delay unwary travelers. Obkron. Sessa! Cogs- wounds, enough! Assoil this icicle Before his shadow freezes on the ground. Robin Goodpkllow. Good-lack! Obbron. Out, out! Elbow the atmosphere, Robin, or study thy nativity With extreme heedfulness. An patience proves A weary mare, thy dignity will limp As painfully as modern pensioners Applying for a competence. 94 CAPRICES. In times Of peace, all scars are coinable. The wise Man with his honesty must cool Impatient heels before the reigning fbol, As the old adage paces. Robin Goodfki*i*ow. Honesty, Of wide acquaintance, meets with villainous, I^w, fat and greasy citizens among Corporeal multitudes. TiTANIA. Aha- ha! Views That smack of observation, but a most Threadbare philosophy. Hush, hush! A still, Small, rimy voice craves audience. Robin Goodf]5i,i.ow. Egad! A walking relic of antiquity. 95 THE HOUSE OP DREAMS. Jack Frost. Appearing to mortal view A translated drop of dew, Soldering rebellious years As with penitential tears, Many evenings on the ricks, While the scheming stars plan tricks Overhead to trip the day, Boreas and Frosty lay Dreaming winter-time away. Obbron. As worthy children of Medusa or Perhaps some petrified metonymy Delivered shivering. Uncommon things Have been discredited before. Robin Goodfbi*U)w. The most Improbable seem most probable. 96 CAPRICES. TiTANIA. More Reverence, good fellow! Midnight ambles on Impetuously. Before Aurora lays Her rosy fingers on the draperies Of Paradise, one and all fairily Follow Zephyr airily. Zkphyr. Over hills and dales I go Hither, thither, to and fro Even as a mystery In some wilderness of glee, All day long distributing Breezy songs the twittering Orioles and linnets sing. TiTANIA. A gracious spirit surely! 97 THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Obbron. Ariel Arrayed in sorry pantomime or more Probably some imp of Nature. Nature Ever was as varying as the air Consoling Mother Maudlin. Robin Gc>odpei<ix)w. Fickleness Is a feminine virtue. Nothing more! For there, descending from the balcony Of yonder mountain summits visibly — Behold, behold once more across the hills Apollo walks down from the Orient! The slumbering universe awakes! Day, day Is at the door! Obbron. Away! 98 CAPRICES. TiTANIA. Away! Ai.1.. Away! As day breaks over the for est ^ the birds are heard singing and^ with a quaint device^ the spirits all mysteriously vanish. 99 rf '4 ^ : THE SISTERS. Night, in the chambered east. Sits with Dawn at the door. Dropped from her golden feast, Star-crumbs scatter the floor. Mice, from behind the sun, Patter along the sky; Nibbling the crumbs they run Touching with footprints shy. Echoes of purring sound Over the world below; Nothing more to be found. Scamper — away they go! 100 CAPRICES. Dawn, in the chambered east, Sits by an open door. Night has gone from the feast ; Barren of crumbs the floor. 101 AN UMBEI. FOR SPRING. Hear the Days come marching on Noon by noon, Stealing down the starry lawn All with boon, Laughing lips the sunlight presses As they shake their golden tresses Round the moon. Dawning human blushes race Everywhere and run Over many a rosy face, As the sun Rises and Fills the land With a warm and purple haze. 102 CAPRICES. Voices in the waters throng Once more chorusing a song All the happy elves are singing Far and near^ As the season passes winging Down the year. Perfumes seem forever flowing In sweet rivers through the air, While the elfin horns are blowing Everywhere: Even as the wind translates Into unknown tongues a lay^ Serenading Maiden Spring Paying toll at all the gates Where the caravans of May Strike their dewy, southern tents. Delicate with woven scents. 103 ->* J - - L ^ <j ( • < THE HOUSE OF DREAMS. Breaking camp With muted tramp; Marching nearer past the gleaming, Idle rivers southward dreaming Weird and quaintly; All so faintly Chanting unto Spring Songs that men may never sing. While the timid buds peep out Of the tents now pitched about In the grasses, Where the south-wind guards the passes, Breezy voices, unafraid in View of lofty Spirits, softly Murmur while the queenly maiden, Giving hostages of flowers To the golden, Circean hours, Passes near — Winging, winging, winging down the year. 104 INSCRIPTION. A wayside loiterer, it will be said, Who held in reverence the lowly flower; A wanderer, whose dreams were bread, While rovitig on to the last hour Of that inevitable evening, far away O where some mountain rivulet may tell Its pebbly rosaries! shall stay And wave to thee and wish thee well. THIS IS THE END OF THE HOUSE OF DREAMS WRITTEN BY WILLIAM GRIFFITH AND PRINTED BY THE HUDSON-KIMBERLY PUBLISHING CO. KANSAS CITY, U. S. A. IN JUNE, MDCCCXCIX.